DUBAI, 30th November 2017: The third edition of the National Day Camel Marathon, organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) in cooperation with Dubai Camel Racing Club, to celebrate UAE’s 46th National Day, will take place on Sunday 3rd December 2017 in Dubai International Endurance City, Saih Al Salam.

The Camel Marathon, organized as part of the Center’s extensive efforts to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of the UAE, is part of the ongoing 46th UAE National Day celebrations.

Open to UAE citizens above 18 years of age, the National Day Camel Marathon is set to begin early morning on Sunday.

Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, stated the Camel Marathon has been launched to showcase Emirati heritage on a national occasion.

She said: “Camel racing is one of the most enduring and centuries-old traditional sports in the UAE. Last year we renamed the race as the National Day Camel Marathon since it coincides with the UAE’s National Day celebrations, this year, we intend to build upon the success of last year with more participants expected”.

The inaugural Camel Marathon saw the participation of 72 UAE national contestants between the ages of 18 and 50. This number grew to 100 participants in the second year and is expected to grow further this time around.

“The National Day Camel Marathon is in line with the Center’s initiatives aimed at safeguarding our intangible cultural heritage and encouraging Emiratis to participate in traditional sports in an atmosphere that exudes a sense of national pride and community spirit. The National Day Camel Marathon occupies pride of place in Fazza Championships annual events calendar and serves as another platform for encouraging the younger generation to take up traditional Emirati sports and keep in touch with their heritage.

“This unique Marathon will also showcase the kindred spirit between man and animal. The National Day Camel Marathon will be conducted in a professional manner under the strict supervision of Dubai Camel Racing Club with no jockeys used during the challenging and energy sapping 25-kilometre distance. Most of these camels would have trained for nearly three months for this race. Only those who have grown up breeding camels will understand the potential of their charges. We wish the participants best of luck.”

Ali Bin Surood, Director of Dubai Racing Club said: “We see the cultural, sports and traditional activities we hold as a means of reviving the customs and practices of our ancestors. Camels were a key means of livelihood for the people of the Arabian Peninsula. They taught people patience and endurance and even had songs and poems written about them. Hence we at Dubai racing Club are keen to introduce new ways to try and inspire citizens to breed and care for camels. In cooperation with HHC, this camel marathon is held to realize our visions.”

Valuable prizes will be awarded to the winners, including cash prizes.